Thursday, December 14, 2017

Investing in Managers: UVAFinance Management Development Program begins second cohort

A Gallup poll of over 1 million employed US workers concluded that the number one people quit their jobs is because of issues with their immediate supervisor. Gallup also determined that poor management results in work groups that are on average 50 percent less productive and 44 percent less profitable than well-managed groups.

The recognition of how much is at stake when it comes to properly training managers to manage was the inspiration behind UVAFinance’s partnership with the Center for Leadership Excellence to launch the Management Development Program (MDP), a year-long course for UVAFinance managers.

The course curriculum includes three components: 360 feedback, four skills development sessions, and individualized leadership coaching. This January, the first cohort of 18 managers will graduate. The second cohort of 13 managers has already begun the program.

The second MDP cohort will benefit from the themes revealed in the 360 feedback of the first group. Their sessions will be tailored to include those themes: building relationships with managers, delegation, reward and recognition, and dealing with difficult employees, as well as their own 360 feedback results.

Participant satisfaction with the course has been high, and those facilitating it have seen positive results.

Patty Marbury of Finance Outreach and Compliance leads the individualized coaching sessions with participants. From the first cohort, she noticed several common concerns and challenges. She observed participants becoming more aware of how they interact with employees, and become more confident in their leadership skills. They have made changes based on what they’ve learned and seen how it’s impacted their employees.

In coaching sessions, Marbury reports managers have shown great interest in understanding employee behavior and working with their employees, with the focus placed on the employees’ experience. 

“The coaching sessions haven’t been about me just giving advice,” she said. “Managers have brought up actual issues they’re dealing with and we’ve been able to work out practical solutions.”

For members of the first cohort, the experience was well worth it.

“It’s valuable for all managers but also valuable to most employees whether they supervise or not,” said Imelda Carter, Manager in Accounting Services.

“We all have to set goals, face change and challenges, work with various personalities, work in teams and alone, develop our skills, and give and receive feedback,” she noted.

Sarah Doran, Assistant Director in Student Financial Services, was pleased with the depth of knowledge the MDP trainers had on how to think differently when encountering issues or changes that need to be addressed.

“It also really helps to hear from other colleagues about their own management preferences. We got to learn about new topics among a group of people that we don’t work with on a regular basis, and new now have a connection and a context for future communications and potential collaboration with one another,” she added.

For Forrest Swope, Data Stewardship Leader in Managerial Reporting, the value was in both the 360 feedback and in sharing experiences with fellow managers. “It is nice to know that I’m not the only one facing certain challenges and that there are other folks in the organization I can reach out to for support.”

For more information about the Management Development Program, contact Patty Marbury.

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